Have you heard of Painting With a Twist? Is that a thing outside of Michigan? If you haven’t heard of it, it is basically an art studio where you can go and learn how to paint a painting. The best part is it’s for anyone with any (or no) level of skill.
In their traditional class, everyone in the class paints the same picture. The instructor tells you paint stroke by paint stroke what to do. I have had friends that have done it and their paintings have all come out great!
I had been meaning to give it a try when a friend of mind asked if I wanted to do their pet painting class. I immediately said yes, which won’t surprise you if you have any clue how crazy I am about my dog. Paint my puppy’s portrait so I can hang my punkin on the wall? Yes, please!
The only problem is, once I agreed and we signed up, I started to get a little nervous. I had never actually painted a painting before and I hadn’t taken one of their regular classes…how in the world was I going to pull off an elaborate painting of my dog?
For the pet painting class, you send in a picture of your pet ahead of time, they sketch it out on canvas for you and then it’s up to you to paint it. They give the entire class basic instruction and come around to help individually, but because everyone is painting a different picture, it is more of a challenge than their normal classes.
Nerves aside, I was really looking forward to some art therapy that night as I was a bit out of sorts from a not so happy day. But my mood instantly improved when I walked in and saw my prepped canvas. Their sketch from my picture looked so good!
The instructor told us the first step was to do the background color. I started blending something kind of teal-ish and off I went, surprisingly easily. I realized later that this part of the painting process falsely led me to believe that this whole portrait painting business wasn’t going to be so hard after all…
The next step was to do the ‘medium’ colors. They explained some brush stroke techniques, which I promptly forgot and I started smooshing medium colors onto the canvas. I was really worried about losing the lines, but ‘fear not,’ my instructor said, so on I painted.
The next two steps were the dark colors and the finishing touches like the nose and eyes. There are no pictures from this stage…because holy heck! It was hard!! I could not focus on picture-taking when Kodi’s nose looked like a big blob of brownie batter and I was afraid to even start the eyes. Thank goodness one of the instructors came by and saw my pleading face. He swooped in, helped me paint the nose (read: he painted the nose) and gave me some tips for the eyes.
I posted some pics on my Facebook page and I think a few people thought I was using false modesty when I said I really struggled. I swear, I’m pleased with how the painting turned out, but I also know how much I struggled. Happily, though, with the help of the instructors, I was able to come away with something I’m not ashamed to hang on my wall.
Now whether Kodi is ashamed for this to hang on my wall, is anyone’s guess. Or not…I’m thinking it’s not hard to guess…